My Baaaaaby has a home again! Having a garage is top on my priority list when it comes to a house. It is something I wouldn’t compromise on. If a house didn’t have a garage, then I was willing to settle for a carport, or at the very least a big enough lot to build a garage (and a low enough price to accommodate the addition). Most of the older homes I loved don’t have garages. If there was any kind of outside covered parking, in those days, it was usually a carport. Most of the time it was a single car-carport. But, I was really lucky to find a house with a 2-car carport with my new place.
Closing in the carport to a garage was one of my first priorities with the new house. I knew this would be a rather big project and something that might not be a DIY project. Sometimes it’s better to hire a professional. Just because you hire a professional doesn’t mean you can’t control your costs. When considering professional help on a project there are several things you should ask yourself about the project.
1. Do you have the skills to complete the project/could you easily learn the required skills.
(I don’t always have the skills I need before starting a project. I have frequently consulted YouTube videos to see how you’d go about DIYing things. Sometimes things are easy to learn on a trial and error basis on a project).
2. Do you need expert knowledge for the project? Would something come up in a home inspection when you go to sell your place? (There are things like rewiring / installing new outlets, some plumbing things like fixing the main sewer line, and other similar highly skilled trades that are better left to the professionals. I’d rather not need to use my home owners insurance for a flood or a fire because I did something wrong).
3. Do you have all the tools to complete the project / how much would it cost to rent all of the tools?
4. What is the cost benefit of hiring someone to complete all / part of the project?
(Can someone else do this more efficiently than you can? Is this efficiency worth the added cost?)
I thought about all 4 of the things above when considering this project. First I don’t have the expert knowledge on framing out walls. Could I have learned, yes, no doubt. I could have asked my Dad to help with this project, he knows how to to all that stuff. But to be honest, it’s winter, I don’t like the cold, and I didn’t want to be out there. I also wasn’t interested in waiting until it was warmer. There is some electrical work that needed to be done which will definitely require hiring a professional (that part is still in process as I write this post). I plan on the electrician installing an outlet for the door opener and new inside lights. I also don’t have all of the tools for the project. I could have borrowed the ones I’m missing, but after answering the first 2 questions it wasn’t worth going down that path. The cost benefit of hiring someone to complete this project was that it would get done in a week versus several weekends of work. It probably would have been a month long project if it was DIY’d. I was able to save some costs by doing some things myself. Don’t be afraid to talk with your contractor on what you can do or items you can contribute versus the contractor buying them.
I contacted a friend that owns a construction company to be the “Pro” on this project and provide a quote before starting work to ensure my estimated calculation of the project wasn’t unrealistic. The contractor framed out the walls, installed the side entry door, added insulation inside, and sided the outside. It took them less than two days to get all of that done. If all of that had been DIY’d, it would have taken forever. It was well worth it to pay someone to do all of those things.
When it came to DIYing parts of this project and saving money I painted all of the siding. Painting is an easy way to save money and do it yourself. It cost me 2 tubes of Lexel caulk (this stuff is a premium price compared to regular caulk, but it was recommended by the contractor) and a gallon of exterior paint.
I saved some money when it came to adding windows to the garage. I wanted to have some natural light in the garage, but I also wanted the windows to look consistent with my current windows. My house has the original wooden windows and they are in great shape. I don’t know if/when I would replace them. I used some reclaimed window sashes that I got from a friend’s house to install in the garage. The windows are not functional, but they are secured in place semi permanently.
The inside of the garage isn’t completely finished. I’m still trying to decide if I want to put up drywall it or peg board. That decision isn’t a big priority at the moment. I’m excited the outside it finished and I can close the door (although it’s connected with an extension cord right now)! There are also actually house numbers that you can see from the street!